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Arielle Weg

Here’s how that gluten-free pizza crust all over your Instagram really tastes.

Arielle Weg
October 10, 2018

When it comes to gluten-free eating, we like to think of ourselves as experts in the field. We’ve tried out tons of gluten-free pizza crusts, like classic cauliflower crust, beet pizza crust, and we even have a recipe for quinoa crust.

And we're fans of TJ's gluten free options—especially their pastas, like cauliflower gnocchi and bean-based noodles. So when we saw the new butternut squash pizza crust all over the internet, we had to give it a try.

We snagged a box of the frozen pizza crusts, and tag teamed with our friends at MyRecipes who were making the ultimate autumn butternut squash pizza pie. But what we really wanted to see was how this gluten-free crust really stacked up nutritionally, and taste wise to the competitors. So, we headed to the kitchen to get cooking.

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The pie crust itself is pretty healthy, clocking in at 360 calories for the entire crust (or 60 calories for six servings). Truthfully, the pie itself is more of a pile-high-with-toppings-and-share-with-a-buddy kind of situation—you'd end up hungry if you split it among six diners.

Arielle Weg

The butternut squash crust comes in with fewer calories per serving than both Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust and Whole Foods’ beet pizza crust—making it one of the lowest calorie choices among competitors. So, if calories are your focus then this is definitely a positive pick. If you compare the pizza’s carbohydrates the entire butternut squash pizza has 84 grams, which is slightly fewer than the cauliflower pizza, but slightly more than the beet pizza.

Flip the box over to check the ingredients, and you’ll find yourself pretty impressed. It’s simply butternut squash, corn flour, water, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt—ingredients we’re very familiar with.

How did cooking it go? Well, the crust itself was a little lopsided: One end was significantly thicker than the other. It looked almost like a large yellow cracker, and wafted the scent of butternut squash throughout our kitchen while baking. Flipping it (which was part of the cooking instructions) wasn’t easy, but it was doable. We topped it with an abundance of fall-inspired squash flavors before popping it under the broiler one last time

Even though we followed the directions, including a five minute hit under the broiler, the edges crisped up until almost burned. This is most likely due to the uneven crust, so thinner edges charred while thicker edges stayed a little soft and doughy. Despite that, the crust held up very well under the toppings and didn’t get soggy.

Antara Sinha

Taste wise, we weren’t blown away, but we weren’t totally turned off, either. It was butternut squash. It was in the shape of a pizza. There really weren’t any surprises. Did some tasters go in for a second slice? Absolutely. Did anyone exclaim they were going to pack their fridge with it as soon as they got to Trader Joe’s? Not so much.

Overall, we would snag this crust if we wanted a particularly fall-themed pizza pie or flatbread. The crust could even potentially make a nice squash-flavored cracker for dipping. But this isn’t something we’d reach for over and over, and definitely not something we’d keep stocked in our fridge.